Coming out of West Yorkshire, Tillerman crosses musical generations with their unique and smooth sound. Consisting of Jon Kulczycki (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Tom Kulczycki (drums/backing vocals), Shaun Mallia (lead guitar) and Iain (bass), the band is in its second iteration. After performing as Satellite, the band took a natural hiatus in 2011.
In 2018, their musical and creative itch needed to be scratched and Tillerman was born. The separation brought the musical maturity that now defines their music. The band has now released their 5-track EP Gathering.
Gathering starts with ‘Via Dolorosa’. This song has heavy lyrics and the music reflects it. The tone of the vocals draws you into the track and makes you think about what the band is saying. It is also an amazing showing of how well the band members work together. The harmonisation is fantastic, the inclusion of guitar is natural and the drums match everything perfectly.
In ‘Chasing Shadows’, the band again changes things up with an almost Spanish guitar and drum opening. The combination of vocals and instruments lets you build the scene in cinematic clarity. The storytelling ability highlighted in this track is astonishing.
The Middle track of the EP ‘Hold Me Haunt Me’ is as haunting as the title makes you think. The song is more stripped back than the others on Gathering, but this just highlights the power of the vocals. After listening, you are left with a sense of longing with the guitar and drums somehow making you pine for someone who has passed on.
The penultimate track, ‘Real’, showcases the brothers Jon and Tom’s vocal harmonies from the start. The pace of the track makes it easy to listen to and leaves you wanting more. The lyrics also tell a story of the intimacies of a relationship.
The final track ‘My Eden’ takes a different look at relationships and has a more religious vibe to it. The song has clear nods to the style of The Beatles and The Beach Boys. It is a more upbeat track that leaves you feeling uplifted. The picture of love created by the lyrics also leaves a smile on your face.
Gathering by Tillerman is an amazing EP and a feast of music for anyone who listens. The influences of the past 6 to 7 decades can be heard in each track, but the band brings their own unique flavour. While ‘Via Dolorosa’ is a strong contender for the best song, it is hard to choose from such a banquet of tracks. This is easily an EP that you can listen to on repeat anytime.